There have been a few times this season when Andrew Desjardins has looked skyward, wondering how a great scoring chance hasn’t gone in for him.
Then on Tuesday, one went in for him. Then another. Then two days later, he got another. And just like that, Desjardins was snake-bitten no more and the Blackhawks were getting more of that supplemental scoring they’ve needed so much.
Desjardins scored three goals in his last two games as the Blackhawks wrapped up 2015 with two victories. Desjardins is part of a third line that may stick for a while: he, Teuvo Teravainen and Phillip Danault have shown chemistry and have maintained good work on the defensive side. But it’s the points those three are bringing which have really helped lately.
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For Desjardins, it just seemed the goals were destined to happen at some point.
“Give a little bit up to luck there in the first game, you know? The first one, I guess, was a little bit of a relief and the second one bounced in with a little luck,” Desjardins said of Tuesday’s second goal, which went off an Arizona defenseman and in. “But in general we’ve been playing with a lot of energy, our line, keeping pucks in the offensive zone, keeping pressure, tiring their guys out. It probably stems from that as well, going to get breaks if you’re playing in their end and doing the right things.”
Desjardins is one of a few players who was a healthy scratch a few times earlier this season. Even when he was back in the goals weren’t coming — again, more than a few guys struggling there this season. But coach Joel Quenneville said Desjardins has looked more like himself lately.
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“Desi, when he came here last year, one thing we found is how effective and efficient he was with the puck. His production didn’t reflect his possession game and how handy he was in tight areas. This year started ordinary in that area but he’s made some great progress the last couple of games,” Quenneville said. “He’s had [the puck] on the stick a lot and the finish is the bonus. It’s nice to see him produce, that line produce. There’s a little more balance in our attack but great progression in his game, for sure.”
Yeah, about that line of Desjardins, Danault and Teravainen, which has become the Blackhawks’ third (we think): on paper it doesn’t seem the most logical combination. But it’s working with a good blend of defensive-minded play (Desjardins and Danault) and an offensive threat (Teravainen). The combination also gave Teravainen a chance to return to the right side; he’s had three assists the last two games.
“It’s been fun playing with Philly and Desi,” Teravainen said. We’re playing fast, checking well and getting loose pucks. We try to hold onto pucks and work hard; that’s huge. We have to help our top guys score.”
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The Blackhawks have gotten a few more guys to score the last two games, Desjardins among them. The chances have been there; they had to go in eventually.
“We all want to try to score goals. Sometimes it’s not the case. We have another role to play by playing good D,” Desjardins said. “But it’s obviously rewarding when you put a few in the back of the net.”